Electric. made simple
Understanding Electric and Hybrid Cars
Why choose an electric or hybrid lease?
Electric and Hybrid vehicles are often more expensive to buy than their petrol or diesel equivalents. Leasing an electric or hybrid vehicle helps with this cost as effectively you are only paying for the depreciation while at the same time still reaping the following other benefits.
- Flexible initial rental
- Lower monthly payments
- Lower fuel bills – especially with 100% electric vehicles
- Drive the latest technology
- Tax incentives, e.g. very low benefit in kind
- Salary sacrifice schemes
- Lower maintenance costs
- Financial incentives available for 100% electric models under £35,000
Helpful questions about electric vehicle leasing
Depending on where you live and if you have off street parking, you can get a dedicated charging point installed on your property. Also, there is currently a government backed grant of £350 against the cost of installation.
Most electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles offer two charging cables (please check with the manufacturer). A standard 3-pin home socket which can be plugged into any of your home plug sockets or inside your garage, although you will be limited with this however as maximum current from most houses is 3kW meaning a full charge will take time. Also, the general rule of thumb is that these cables cannot be used in conjunction with an extension lead, so you will have to ensure you have a suitable socket which can be within reach of the car.
The other is normally a Type 2 charging cable which is used for general charging points installed at home and at service stations. This cable will allow a maximum single-phase charge speed of 7.5kW however, it is also compatible with three-phase supplies usually found on industrial estates and this can provide up to 22kW. You could look to upgrade to this in your home however, you will require a qualified electrician and it can be very expensive.
There are CSS and CHAdeMO rapid DC charging cables also available, but these are usually at an additional cost. These can be used only at public fast charging stations which generally provide 50kW of power and you will need to ensure that your car has the relevant socket for this.
Most EV drivers will charge their vehicle at home overnight, as we do with our phones, so if you have an off-peak tariff you can maximise your fuel savings.
Once out on the road, according to zap-map.com (as of the 18th March 2021) there are currently 22,691 charging units in the UK which are spread over 14,495 different locations and have 39,173 connectors so way over the amount of fuel stations. You can find these at various locations such as, supermarkets, shopping centres, motorway service stations, hotels and pretty much all local carparks.
Download the Zap-Map app today from the Apple Store or Google Play to find out what chargers are in your area and you can also see in real-time if the charger is in use or has a fault. Once you have found a suitable charger, you’ll either have to download the relevant charging company’s app from the app store or Google Play to register and pay for its use. However, many also now have contactless payment making it even easier for you to top up on electric while you grab a coffee or a bite to eat.
Pretty much all modern electric cars come with batteries that will easily outlast the lifespan of the vehicle. Obviously like all batteries, they will degrade over time which you will notice with the range dropping off slightly.
Most electric car batteries carry an 8 year warranty so if you are leasing you should relax with the peace of mind that if the battery did fail then you will be covered for this.
A fully electric car (BEV) typically has a battery range of 100 – 300+ miles, depending on the model you choose. If you drive less than 100 miles a day then any modern electric vehicle would do the job however, if you are planning to drive more than your electric cars’ range distance, then you will need to stop for a charge.
With a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV), which has a smaller battery along with a petrol or diesel engine, the first 30-50 miles (dependent on model) can run on battery power alone. After this is depleted then the internal combustion engine kicks in and you can complete your journey using regular fuel. Best practice would be to charge your PHEV overnight to get the best economy.
In a word ‘yes’, electricity is much cheaper than petrol or diesel. The biggest savings are seen on a fully electric vehicle (BEV) as you can potentially save up to 90% on your fuel bill by ensuring you are charging your vehicle off-peak. Don’t forget that you will also save on the maintenance as electric cars have less moving parts to service.
With a PHEV, as long as you are charging overnight and perhaps at the office while at work, then you will make the most out of the smaller electric range and only drive on petrol and diesel when this runs out.
You can actively improve your green credentials by driving a 'green car'. Even though during vehicle production, battery electric vehicles generate a higher carbon footprint than traditional cars because of the lithium-ion batteries that power the car. But with driving a vehicle on pure electric power over time you can lessen this carbon deficit. Once the whole carbon deficit has been 'repaid' your electric car is then much more environmentally friendly than a petrol or diesel engine car. You can speed up this carbon repayment process by charging your car with electricity from renewable sources by switching to a totally green tariff from your electricity supplier.
There are current Government subsidies to offset the cost of fully electric cars (BEV) by £2,500. This is for all BEV under £35,000 and there is also a £350 grant when you install a dedicated charge point at home.
If you have a BEV as a company car, there is 0% Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax in the 2020/21 tax year. In the following year the BiK tax will be 1% and in 2022/23 it will go up to 2%. Other benefits include not having to pay road tax and free access to Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ).
Leasing an electric car has several advantages which include driving a brand new and environmentally-friendly car with the latest technology, better range, reliability and performance. You also get peace of mind from fixed monthly payments and the ability to hand your car back at the end of the contract enabling you to upgrade to a newer model.